On Wednesday, April 18th, Near Death #7 was released in comic shops everywhere. Tucked inside this awesome issue by Jay Faeber and Simone Guglielmini is a dark, noir  story written by me entitled Loose Ends. It's a quick five page story that I wrote almost five years ago. At the time, I shared the story with Simone and he was nice enough to work on the art. The art was nothing short of beautiful, a perfect tribute to black and white film noir of the 1930's.  Nothing came of the story until a few months ago when Simone contacted me about including it in his Near Death series. I can't begin to thank both Simone and Jay Faeber for the opportunity to have been included in their series. They were both fantastic to work with in the process and I can't think of two better professionals working today.

Near Death has been getting awesome reviews. If you haven't picked it up, this is a great time to do it. There's even a trade out containing the first five issues. If you check it out I'm sure you'll get hooked on an awesome series created by two outstanding people.

So, what else is happening? I'm officially hooked on a site called Secondspin.com. I'm just cleaning up on obscure, used DVDs. I recently got a whole order of animation films that included a collection of short anime films by Katsuhiro Otomo called Memories. This was a great pick up.

As for reading, I just finished a book by Charlie Huston called Caught Stealing. Great read. A lot of fun with real characters and sharp dialogue. When I finished the story I felt like I just got dragged through a city gutter alongside the main character, Hank. There's a few more adventures with this guy written by Huston. I'm going to have to pick them up.

I also picked up the first trade of Haunt. I have to be honest, I wasn't really interested in reading the series before. I'd always pick it up but would never seal the deal. I finally gave in and I was happy I did. I'll be picking up the rest of the series for sure.

Finally, I consider myself very fortunate to live so close to New York City. Being as close as I am, I'm able to go to great education seminars at the Museum of Comic And Cartoon Art. Very recently I attended a class on Comic Writing held by the awesome Peter David. It was a surreal experience, learning about comic writing all while surrounded by original Batman art in the museum's gallery. What was even cooler about the event is that it was a very small venue, only around fifteen people. The main focus was story structure and understanding story through characterization. Peter David was great to listen to. He's just as good at entertaining a crowd as he is writing comics. He even extended the class another hour just so he could get everything in and answer questions. For anyone who lives in the area, MOCCA is a fantastic resource. Check out there site. They are always updating classes and speaking engagements.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Take it easy out there.


My childhood hero, Gary Carter, is gone. He died last week, losing a year-long battle with brain cancer. What he leaves behind is a hero's legacy.

It's hard to comprehend that he's gone. Carter was invincible to me, a galvanized hero incapable of defeat. He was pure and good, which is why my parents, especially my father, encouraged my admiration of the man.

I can remember sitting and watching a game one summer afternoon with my father. He sat there calling out key plays and brilliant hits, arguing calls. The excitement was too much for a five year old to handle. I'd have to recreate every pitch, every play. Somehow, they all revolved around number eight.

After the game I rushed to get my cards and as I rummaged through them I came across a Gary Carter card. It was then that my father taught me what a leader was. How they were unselfish and committed to a cause. In a name, a leader was Gary Carter. He became my lasting image of leadership on the field of play.

It's hard to find a figure of moral integrity these days, one that works for a greater good, not selfish individual acclaim. With one less example in a world already with too few, the loss of Carter is that much more saddening.

His daughter summed it up beautifully in this statement:

"I believe with all my heart that dad had a STANDING OVATION as he walked through the gates of heaven to be with Jesus".

Rest in peace, Gary Carter. You have been and always will be my hero.

You go in the cage....cage goes in the water....

Well, it wouldn't be summer without Jaws. I just had to post Quint, even though it bares no meaning to the rest of this post. Jaws is just the ultimate summer movie in my opinion. Either that or Summer Rental. So, I haven't posted since April, but it's not due to laziness, I can assure you. Busy times. Lots of work on two upcoming titles that I can hopefully share with you soon. Working with an editor has been a great experience. They poses the uncanny ability of making you think you suck while simoltainiously convincing you that you can pull it off. Simply amazing.

So, let's touch on what I have been reading. I had the awesome pleasure of reading the fantastic I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly recently and it instantly took its place as one of my favorite stories of all time, in any medium.

This one puts you through the emotional wringer. You absolutely feel for the main character, Barbara. Everything she's going through, man, you just want to see her come out ok. She's such an angry, troubled kid that you can't help but feel for her. The story is paced perfectly with some outstanding moments, especially the Coveleski reveal. JM Ken Niimura's art fits perfectly with such a raw, kinetic emotion. I couldn't picture it any other way. I love this book and I am trying to get everyone in my family to read it. I hope you do too.

I was pleasantly surprised by Batman and Robin: Reborn. I'm not too familiar with Morrison's work but I have to admit I was turned off by the whole tent pole event of the death of Bruce Wayne and the Batmen across time thing. But I tried this first trade and I'm a big fan. Some crazy stuff in there and I love Morrison's villains. Professor Pyg and Flamingo are bad assess. And I love Damien as Robin. That little kid seems like the spawn of Frank Miller's Batman. Mean as hell and I can't help but smile when he insults Dick Grayson. I'm going to pick up the other trades very soon.
So, that's all I've got for now. Aliens is on right now and I can't miss that. Take it easy.

Yub Nub!

Ok, I'm going to start this by saying the prequels do not exist. They never happened. The mystery of what happens before A New Hope will stay that way. You hear me, Lucas? Alright, now that's out of the way I can get to the point of my post. I would much rather have seen sequels to the original trilogy, and very recently, I have. I just picked up the entire Thrawn Trilogy from Dark Horse Comics and I feel like that little kid from the 80's again. Slowly, the stains of the prequels have washed away as I immerse myself in these new tales of Star Wars lore. And they weren't tainted by CGI sets and aliens just for the sake of CGI sets and aliens(Give me a matte painting and a giant puppet any day). This feels real to me. This is where Luke, Leia, and Han have been all these years. I know I'm late to the party, but damn, I'm glad to finally be there.

Ok, what else am I reading? I picked up World War Z. This is a very fun read. I love the fact that it's interviews. Personal accounts of this zombie plague from around the globe that feel real. I'm not big into zombies but I figured I'd finally buy it since I caught myself staring at it and flipping through it every time I walked into the book store.

I also picked up Superman: For All Seasons, based purely on the fact that I can stare at Tim Sale's art until my eyeballs dry out. That man makes some mighty pretty pictures, don't he?
While we are on the subject of art, I came across some really cool prints. I've been on an Art Deco kick for the last few months. I've bought a mess load of prints, but these I have to get....

The guy's name is Justin Van Genderen. Give his name a click and you can see all of his awesome work. Great stuff.

Finally, April 9th and 10th is the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's huge comic festival. It's over at the old Lexington Avenue Armory. If you live in the New York area, check it out. You'll find some great independent creators. I'll be there supporting them and this awesome museum.

Alright, that's all I've got. I'm off to see Source Code. Looks pretty good. Take it easy.

Cool Things

Ok, so this post is all about cool things that I can't get enough of right now. The biggest one being Superman Classic. This has been out for a week or so now and I might account for 1,000 of its views. Let me begin by saying I'm not the biggest Superman fan. I respect the character and the age that he was created for. But, to me, Superman just wasn't that cool today. That is, until a Disney animator named Robb Pratt made a one minute short about the Man of Steel. In that one minute, Superman has never been more interesting, iconic, or flat out cool. To me, this IS Superman. Exactly as he was intended to be. He's from another era, a much different America. Superman is every bit the 1930's and 40's. He is the hero of that time and Pratt understands this completely. He captures the essence of Superman in sixty seconds. Give this guy the choice to make any project he wants. He's earned it. If you haven't seen it, take a look. Not only is it cool, it has some of the best traditional animation I've seen in a long time.

Another cool thing out there right now is a comic called Icarus by Ryan Cody. Cody is known for some great art, including his run on Villains for Viper Comics. But, his writing is top-notch as well. He's a creator that can do it all right now and he's hitting his stride with Icarus. I'm not sure what he's got up his sleeve just yet, but you will find an original story that has more twists in one issue than you'll find anywhere else. Issue one is available for purchase over at Cody's site, Super75 Comics. He's a great talent and an even better guy. If you're looking for some great comics work, get behind this one.

And, finally, my favorite humor publication has hit television over at IFC. The Onion News Network. I'll leave you with this. Just funny as hell.

Holy Crap

I meant to post this the other day. This just might be the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. Love Rex's gut floppin' through the Han shirt.


I really neglected the blog for a bit. Things have been very busy and I have a few things to announce, but that has to wait. So, basically, I'm announcing that I can't announce anything yet.

Anyway, just a few things I felt like talking about. First, its snowing like crazy right now, and that always puts me in a good mood. Another thing that puts me in a good mood is Neil Gaiman. I just finished a bunch of his short stories. My favorite was a tale set in an alternate 19th century London featuring Sherlock Holmes. I was so mad that it was just a short because I could have read this story right on through some ridiculous page count.

And while we're talking about Neil Gaiman, I saw this very fun, very haunting, alternate take on Jolly Old St.Nick that he wrote and was turned into a little animation piece. Check it out:

Creepy, right?

How about movies? True Grit was a great time. Damn that was good. And Jeff Bridges will knock you on your ass. I love Jeff Bridges, mainly because he was in King Kong 1976, and I'm a fan of anyone in that film...just because...I love King Kong. Anyway, True Grit is a good one. Well, that's all I've got for right now. Take it easy out there.